My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Starting a school in Ghana is not easy-o!

Since returning to Ghana, life has been BUSY! I wrote about my crazy week last week, and it's been the same this week. My sanity, in the form of Christy Lynch, has left me, but I'm still plugging away!

Teacher training started on Monday, and I have a great group of teachers that are working for us this year. They vary in age and experience, but I am trusting that they will be hardworking! It has been interesting to be in the role of teaching teachers. I often feel overwhelmed at the idea of leading our little brigade of 6 teachers this upcoming year. What I learned in 4 years of college and a year and a half in my credentialing program, plus years of teaching and subbing in the American education system, I am trying to teach them in just 1 week. Differentiation, learning styles, ELD strategies, classroom management, positive discipline systems, the writing process, phonics instruction, lesson planning, and much much more have been my focus this week. Needless to say, my throat is sore from talking so much, the teachers get this overwhelmed look on their faces by about an hour into training, but I'm feeling like more and more, they are feeling capable of doing what I have asked them to do.

I am looking forward to being a support role for the staff this year as I lead the school. I want to be able to pull small groups for instruction, support the teachers where they are lacking (and a couple of them look like this might be a big leap for them), and be able to be in the classrooms as much as possible.

When I was in the States, I got asked quite a bit what was one of the hardest things about living in Ghana and ultimately, it came down to working with people who had a different definition for integrity than I did. This year, the standards have been raised. I have the opportunity to really challenge people in holding fast to their integrity, to do something great for themselves and for the children of Ghana...and I'm really hoping that with the ability to take the time to do this and not have to teach my own class as well, that the level of integrity and the amount of work that will actually happen at Faith Roots will skyrocket.

But, let's just say that there is still a lot of work to be done...and it will continue throughout the year (and year) to come. Our school is roofed, but we have yet to plaster, put in windows and doors, bring our furniture in...we have a lot to do still! And school starts in a week. But, with the way that things work around here...we'll see how much happens in a week! I think that even I will be surprised!

So, starting a school in Ghana is not easy, but it is POSSIBLE! And that's pretty miraculous to me!

1 comment:

  1. I did not get to say goodbye but I have been praying for you and the school, reading of the challenges you have faced, overcome and those that lay before you, know that you are doing the work the Lord has called you to, and so many of us a very proud of you, this quote came to mind.
    "We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."
    – Marian Wright Edelman